City of Buffalo Department of Permit and Inspections for Restaurants and Bars

Opening a restaurant involves a lot of permits, inspections and licenses. For those opening an establishment in the City of Buffalo, here is a list of permits and inspections you probably will need to have:

  • Restaurant
  • Public assembly
  • Music
  • Sign
  • Building permits
  • Electric
  • Plumbing
  • General Contractor
  • Tear-down (for demolition)
  • Heating
  • Juke-box
  • Amusement Machines

Your budget should be at least $1,000 for licenses and permits, depending on the nature of the renovation work you will be doing. Your job is not done when you get the permit, however, you must keep track of any required license or permit renewals (typically annual renewals). Failure to apply for and pay renewal fees can result in substantial fines or put your operation in jeopardy of temporary or permanent closure. There are rarely notices sent to remind businesses of these renewals, so it is important to keep a “tickler system” or calendar to trigger yourself or your employees to timely take action.

You should also identify which permits or inspections must be publicly displayed on the walls. Most contain a legend advising the licensee of this responsibility, but it is best to check with the issuing agency if you are unsure.